Evan's Thoughts on the 2017 Championship Points Chase

So I’ve kind of dropped the ball the last couple weeks in regards to my weekly recap, but I’m coming back this week and I’m gonna try to highlight some of the storylines coming into this weekend’s Edelbrock Super Series Season Championship, where champions will be crowned for the 2017 racing season.

Taking a look at our Edelbrock Super Pro category, Eric Manuel is still on top of the points standings with 29 points and one feature win, with Steven Schmidt following closely behind with 27 points and two feature wins. Right behind Schmidt is a pretty cool story, Lisa and John Boes in the four and five spot, both Boes’ have 26 points, but Lisa owns the tie breaker as of right now with one feature win. Behind John is Randy Scheuer Jr, with 21 points and one feature win. Outside of your top is Dennis Hall Alex Miller Fred Krakora Carl Keil II and Jeff Hura, however I’m not sure anybody behind Scheuer have a shot at it; and honestly Randy’s only shot at it would require 120+ cars to show up for Edelbrock Super Pro.

Regardless of how you split it, our Edelbrock Super Pro champion will have a heck of a story. Eric Manuel has the potential to clinch his first track championship, coming out of almost nowhere. Steven Schmidt and the rest of his family have had an emotional season losing his grandfather before the season started, so being able to claim the championship would be incredibly memorable. Lisa Boes also has the potential to clinch her first track championship, in a car that John won out here at the track in 2005? Maybe?. Aside from that Lisa has grown a lot as a driver and a track championship would certainly make her and John a power couple as far as drag racing is concerned. John and Randy then both have the potential to become multi time track champions and go down as some of the winningest drivers in Summit Motorsports Park History.

Moving on now to our Edelbrock Pro category; nobody in the top four has recorded a feature win, which is… odd. Damien Hazelton has 26 points, Vic Ellinger has 23 points, Lee Newmeyer has 21 points and Sean Dornan has 21 points as well. Nick Moss is in the five spot with 20 points and one feature win, and then Jaeden Durst is number six with 20 points, and then Tony Udovich sits in the seven spot with 19 points. Outside of the top seven is Wes Buckley, Austin Lenz, Bryan Workman and Geoff Case all with 18 points, but again, barring an eight-round race they are out of the chase.

When you take a look here in Edelbrock Pro, Damien Hazelton has pretty much been on top of the class since the first or second points meet, so to see him wrap up the season would be pretty cool. Moving to Vic Ellinger, it’s been a few years since Vic has brought home a track championship from Summit Motorsports Park, and after being crowned IHRA’s national champion last year, coming back this year with a track championship could be pretty memorable. Next up is Lee Newmeyer, who was a multi-time champion in the Junior Dragster ranks and has continually improved to become one of the baddest dudes in Edelbrock Pro this season. I could be wrong here, but it could be Lee’s first championship in a “big car” just a few years after graduating from Jr. Dragster, so it is certainly cool to see the next generation of racer come through the ranks right before our eyes. Up next is Sean Dornan, which in my mind is nuts. Not because he’s not a capable driver, but more so because of everything Sean does. He owns and operates his own business in Attica Ohio, but also operates the track side parts store, as well as the tire shop for this season. It kind of goes without saying that Sean is currently being pulled every which way all at once, and has still been able to put himself within striking distance for the Edelbrock Pro championship. Nick Moss is another one with his shot to win it this weekend. Nick, another one having graduated from a successful Jr. Dragster career, has also overcome an awful lot on the track to be here today. There was a pretty tough stretch there for awhile where Nick could not get anything going, and it seems his hard work and persistence has paid off putting him in a position where he could away your champion. Geez, Jaeden Durst, another young gun out here with a shot at the championship, is a Jr. Dragster graduate and puts in the time every week to be where he’s at. Kinda crazy to think that Jaeden just graduated and could potentially make him our youngest track champion ever? Time will tell.

Unlike Edelbrock Super Pro and Pro our Edelbrock Sportsman, delivered on time by TFC Transportation class is all but wrapped up. Larry Strohscher is on top with 30 points and two feature wins, while Jaeden Durst (holy cow) is in second with 22 points and two feature wins, Thomas Summers has 22 points and one feature win, James Ring has 22 points, and Jeff Gates rounds out the top five with 20 points and one feature win.

Taking a look at it, Larry could almost not show up Saturday and still be crowned champion, however I would recommend coming out and at least winning one round. So, the real battle is where are these other guys gonna fall in the top five, as it is almost deadlocked. Crazy to think that Jaeden is battling for the top spot in TWO super competitive classes. Lets also take a look at Thomas Summers, another kiddo fighting up at the top in points. Then there is James Ring who really needs no introduction. It is going to be tough to call but at the end of the day I would have to say experience takes the cake. Not to take anything away from Jaeden and Thomas, but it will come down to who can keep a level head, because that’s exactly what this season championship is, it’s a mental battle. That being said, Jaeden and Thomas need to prove me wrong, and show me how mentally tough you really are.

Looking now at Wiseco Cycletech Super Bike, where Craig Adams sits on top with 19 points and three feature wins, Rick Poole is in second with 18 points, Tim Walker in third with 17 points and one feature win, John Weisz is in fourth with 15 points

As far as I can tell things are pretty wide open here from Craig Adams down to Eric Harmon. Craig Adams is already pretty legendary on two wheels, so another Track Championship would be another notch in his belt. Rick Poole has not picked up a feature win yet this year, however picking up a feature win this weekend might just be enough seal the track championship. Tim Walker is another guy who is only a few rounds out of first, and if things fall his way, could wind up our Wiseco Cycletech Super Bike champion. John Weisz is a pretty cool story, putting himself in a position where he’s got a shot at it going into the final race, and doing it all with no electronics on the bike just makes the story that much sweeter.

Let’s move now into Bear Motorsports Advanced Jr. Dragster, presented by Wiseco. Mackenzie Kerns sits on top with 17 points and one feature win, Michael Crowell is in the number two spot with 16 points and two feature wins, Aubrey Collins is in third with fourteen points and two feature wins, Kevin Waite is in fourth with 14 points and one feature win, followed by Kaitlyn Curtis, also with 15 points and one feature win. Noah Rambow is in sixth with thirteen points, and Peyton Jimenez and Courtney Grisez are in seventh and eighth, both with 11 points.

Mackenzie Kerns is in the driver’s seat trying to fend off Michael Crowell, who was last year’s intermediate champion, and looking to make an immediate impact in the advanced ranks from the get go. Aubrey Collins is also in the mix, only three points behind Mackenzie. The log jam actually begins with Aubrey, and runs through Kevin Waite, Kaitlyn Curtis and Noah Rambow. Peyton Jimenez and Courtney Grisez both mathematically are still in it, but would need to see a lot go right for them. A lot can happen in the advanced category, and will certainly be an experience for all the kids involved, trying to remain focused on your goal and not all the other noise around is easier said than done, but this will certainly be a great experience and great learning experience to do just that.

In Bear Motorsports Intermediate Jr. Dragster, the top four in the category all have a shot at it. Ava Tiburzi is on top with 19 points and one feature win, while Jesse Mitschke is in second with 15 points and two feature wins, followed by Zack Smith with fourteen points and two feature wins, and finally Ava Lawson rounds out the top four with 14 points and one feature win.

It would take a few things to happen for Zack Smith and Ava Lawson to claw their way to the top, not to say they aren’t capable, but they’ll need a little bit of help to do so. With Ava’s four lead even a lot would have to happen for her to lose her spot but stranger things have happened.

In Bear Motorsports Novice Jr. Dragster the chase is down to Roman Iocoangeli and Peyton Novak. Roman comes into the weekend with 14 points and three feature wins while Peyton has 11 points and one feature win. Essentially, what would have to happen would be Roman exits in first round and Peyton must go on and win it.

However it goes down this weekend it will certainly be a season to remember for many drivers, and I’m just looking forward to being a small part of it come Saturday night. Good luck to everybody out there this weekend!

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